...on Putin's address to Federal Assembly.
Putin’s address to the Russian Federal Assembly – a de facto State of the Nation – was a judo move that left Atlanticist sphere hawks particularly stunned. The “West” was not even mentioned by name. Only indirectly, or via a delightful metaphor, Kipling’s Jungle Book. Foreign policy was addressed only at the end, almost as an afterthought. For the best part of an hour and a half, Putin concentrated on domestic issues, detailing a series of policies that amount to the Russian state helping those in need – low income families, children, single mothers, young professionals, the underprivileged – with, for instance, free health checks all the way to the possibility of an universal income in the near future.
The truth is, Russia's danger to the "rules-based world order", a euphemism for Pax Americana, is in the fact of implementing a workable economic model based on real economy and real law and order, which in many respects (not all, though) is reminiscent of the ideas enshrined in US founding and Constitution of America which does not exist anymore. Yet, there are very many so well-recognizable Soviet features in what modern Russia does that the end-result already is something totally unique, sui generis. But it is conclusion to Pepe's excellent piece which hits the heart of the issue.
We always come back to the same crucial issue: whether Putin will be able, against all odds, to pull a combined Bismarck-Sun Tzu move and build a lasting German-Russian entente cordiale (and that’s quite far from an “alliance’). Nord Stream 2 is an essential cog in the wheel – and that’s what’s driving Washington hawks crazy. Whatever happens next, for all practical purposes Iron Curtain 2.0 is now on, and it simply won’t go away. There will be more sanctions. Everything was thrown at the Bear short of a hot war. It will be immensely entertaining to watch how, and via which steps, Washington will engage on a “de-escalation and diplomatic process” with Russia. The Hegemon may always find a way to deploy a massive P.R. campaign and ultimately claim a diplomatic success in “dissolving” the impasse. Well, that certainly beats a hot war. Otherwise, lowly Jungle Book adventurers have been advised: try anything funny and be ready to meet “asymmetric, swift and harsh”.
So, enjoy Pepe's superb writing. In related news from America, this is....damn...
South Park was supposed to be a funny and satirical show, not an instruction manual on how to run a country...
Couldn't have said it better myself.